Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Well, I go through the same twisted yearnings. Mine however, center around a little different focus, let me explain. For the last four years I've been looking for a Lagun FVT-2 vertical mill with a 10x50 table. For those that have no frickin' idea what I'm talking about, it's a large machine that allows for the cutting/shaping/milling of metal (simple description I know). Right now, I have a very nice vari-speed Bridgeport for my tubing work, but I've had an unhealthy desire to find the Lagun for fixture work, basically because I'm too lazy to clear off the Bridgeport table of all the mitering tooling and then to re-tram everything. Besides, more tools = more fun!
After years of patient labor and searching, I finally found the perfect machine at an auction to be held, looked forward to it for weeks, crammed in my attendance at the auction in leiu of sleep that day, got all giddy as my head was swirled into the auction fever...and promptly got out bid cause I'm a tight ass. Crap!
That was Saturday.
I pouted all weekend. I daydreamed about the good times we could have had together; throwing chips, the smell of cutting fluid, a nice haze of smoke filling the air, creating new and wonderful pieces that would assist me in fullfilling my customers dreams. Then suddenly, like a jilted lover, I became bitter. Why can't my desires become a reality?
Then the adult part of my psyche jumped in on the conversation..."Stop your whining and do something about it!"
So I did.
I found a new mill to sate my desires a bit further from home. She just happens to be a bit tighter, better taken care of, and a whole lot hotter than my old object of desire...check her out in all her sexy sass.
Yeah, that's right, she's a looker. Best part is, she's cheaper than that other stuck up mill that teased me out of sleep and a day's productivity in the shop. I'm gonna have to sacrifice a day next week to court her and bring her home, but with a little love, elbow grease, and a new set of DRO's, we'll be rockin it out for years to come. Can ya feel me? I knew that you could :)
Oh, and I worked on forks and bars yesterday (obligatory shop update info)
PS...Christi, this post in no way infers that a 4 thousand pound hunk of 80's steel could ever replace you as the true object of desire in my life. Buy ya know, it does have a 3 HP motor and built in coolant pump ;) Just say'n.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Kalten and I took turns riding the rigid 29er...me to confirm that it was going to perform as expected, Kalten to see what the whole bigger wheel platform was all about. All I can say is this, Steven, you gonna like it :)
I think K had the same response...thumbs up!
Friday, October 23, 2009
An early 30's Cleveland motorcycle caught my eye...I really liked the crown and the detailing of the pin stripes on the blades, worthy of emulating I believe :)
The requirements for the fork are to have plenty of clearance, run discs, and be strong enough to handle the extra length of the suspension corrected geometry...a tall order for creating something that is both elegant, functional, and strong.
Here's what I've got rolling...The design will allow for a torsionally stiff fork that will track well and allow for shock absorption in the lower aspects of the non-tapered legs. Additionally, as the fork is suspension corrected, the tri plane design will aesthetically fill some of the vertical spacing between the tire and the crown. I think the fork pays tribute to the original while being attentive to the modern needs of a single track warrior...how's it look Steven?
This week has been tough...88 hours in the Fire department; working shift, teaching cardiovascular physiology and electrical dysrythmias, and International Trauma Life Support. I enjoy the diversity of my multiple career roles, but honestly, it's weeks like this that I often feel like I'm letting folks down as there is just not enough time to meet everyone's needs. Thanks for everyone's patience while I muddle through.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday dawned cold and rainy for the build of Jay's Bigwheel, but our spirits were lifted when Christi stopped by with some hot chocolate and some pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing...yum!
Jay's build went very smoothly, it's so nice to put together Rohloff bikes because when a frame is made for them, the set up is so simple and efficient. She came out pretty spiffy...
Friday, October 16, 2009
So, without further ado....heeeeere's Jay!
It's been a fun day here in Wooster at Groovy Cycles!
The story so far....
Well, I met up with Rody while he was repainting a Monster Fat Chance that I was restoring and was really impressed with his fabrication and paint skills so I asked him to build a bike for me. We spec'd out a fun Crosser type bike with a 14 speed Rohloff that I could ride on the roads to some local double track and dirt roads.
I picked up the bike at the NAHBS show in February and it quickly became my favorite bike. I road it from home, took it on vacation to some awesome rail trails in Virginia and even kept it in my car so I could ride at lunch
As Rody mentioned in the previous blog entry, I have been pushing the cross tires to the limit and have had more aspirations towards some long distance fat tire events. So through Rody's kind heart and lots of correspondence (read begging) from me, he agreed to build a new frame to handle big tires and S&S couplers so I can easily take it on some epic rides.
So yesterday after work, I got in the car in nice warm Tennessee and drove 9 hours to the beautiful (but very cold) town of Wooster.
When I got to the shop this morning, Rody was putting on the final black base coat and was ready to talk finishes. I really liked the black with translucent blue and green paint of my current ride so we decided to keep the colors but pump it up a notch with a bubbly theme but with more of the translucent blue and green.
What I learned today is that a cool paint job is not an easy task. From my naive non bike builder extraordinaire perspective the paint should be a 3 step process:
1. Paint frame black
2. Paint on blue and green accents
3. Some decals and a quick clear coat
It's really like a 28 step process that goes something like this:
1. prep frame for primer
2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7,8 prime frame, sand frame
9. paint 1st coat of black
10. paint 2nd coat of black
11. paint 3rd coat of black
12. paint frame with silver accents - I would get into more detail but have been sworn to paint secrecy on how we got the cool bubble look.
13 -14 - 15 paint top of frame with green accent color
16- 17 -18 paint bottom of frame with blue accent color
19. clear coat frame
21. sand frame
22. apply decals
23. clear coat frame
24 - 25 -26 - 27 sand, clear coat, sand, clear coat
28. remove masking and clean couplers
I am sure I probably missed some steps but it takes a lot of work to get an awesome custom paint job on a 29er. I can't even remember how many times Rody had to clean the paint gun.
We are about to wrap up for the night to let the paint dry. First thing in the morning we plan to build it up and go for a ride in the Mohican Forest.
I know this might have been a little of a ramble but I have had a lot of fun and learned a lot about the build and paint process.
Here are some Pics -Enjoy!
4 sanded primer coats on...
First coat of background color, black...
Thursday, October 15, 2009
A couple of issues are pressing this week...
Carey, better known as Wangpig to his cycling friends, stopped in this week to get fitted up for his Groovy frame that he won as the lucky drawing winner for the final Groovy series race. Each time a participant races in one of my sponsored races, he gets an entry into the drawing. Ironically, it was the additional entry given to those who came out for the trail day at Vulture's Knob that was the winning ticket...see, good things come to those who give back to their local trails :)
While I was hanging with Cary and Keith (who came along to check out the process and the shop), I was also stripping a few frames. In the line for loosing their tired colors were Doug's Fat, DL's Fat, and Jarod's Fat...sensing a trend?
This kind of stripping is a messy business and does not pay near as well as what my lady friends on stage take in ;)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sorry to be a bit lax on the posting, but I've been cramming every hour full since last Thursday...here's what's been shaking.
Thursday I built another 4 box crown forks and two special order bars to round out the fabrication for the week prior to hitting the paint booth. I was starting to get a bit cross eyed looking at the weld arc all day long.
Friday I was all set to pick up the dropouts from the CNC house when I got a disturbing email..."unfortunately, we cannot produce the part, the guys on the floor feel it is too complex to program". WTF???? That took me by surprise, as all the DXF, IGES, and pdf files to show the prints were in hand, heck, I've made dropouts like this on my manual mill. Wish they would have told me a week and a half ago when they said "No problem"...argh! That sent me into a tailspin for a minute til I called up Brian Lenz at Lenz machine, a great little family shop just 5 minutes down the road from me. Brian has two inhouse water jets, three CNC machining centers, and a host of beautifully maintained equipment. A few hours looking over the info with Brian and he was off to program the cut paths. Dropouts will be here this week for sure, thanks Brian!
Saturday was spent in the shop working on stripping some restos to prepare for paint in the next week or so. Not flashy or fun, but necessary.
Sunday was the long anticipated Mohican Forest race. The day dawned cold but clear, and soon the sun rose to bring the thermometer up to a tasty 55 degrees. With one of the largest turnouts I've seen for an OMBC race, this event was really a celebration of the years of advocacy, trail work, and promotion that the Mohican/Malabar club and Ryan have worked at.
The 26 mile course was fast and a bit loose due to the leaves and pine needles that fall has brought down. Straight out of the gate, Dave Walker and Steve Twining were setting a firey pace that would not wane until the finish line. Jeff, the soul Groovy rider there this day (Kalten was home sick in bed), had the ride of the day, keeping just seconds behind the front duo on his single speed. Despite his best efforts, Jeff ended up just a minute out from the two leaders at the end of the day...if I could just have convinced him to throw some gears on, who knows how the top three would have mixed it up. In an almost photo finish, Steve bested Dave at the line by mere inches...what a fun day!
Dave and Steve exiting the woods to cross the river before heading up the LONG single track climb...
Mile 24.5...Jeff returning to the ground after sailing in the air on the descent...
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Setting up the fork fixture...since this fixture is so old, I did not make it to have indexed dropout slots, so I use a parallel and rotate the dropouts forward so that they are both in contact with it's face, insuring they are in phase. I suppose sometime I need to mill a new axle post, but it always comes down to having the time :)
Claudia sent me these pics of her classic Buck Shaver now adorned with some black Luv handles...
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I really didn't have the gumption to do much today but catch up on some sleep, but I suppressed that need for a bit longer and hit the door to the shop. So here's what happened today...
I got all the files necessary to drive the CAM systems off to CNC Metal Products so they could get started on the dropouts for Steven's bike. It's amazing just how long everything takes, even with the modern "conveniences" of computers.
I also got caught up on some lingering email...if y'all are waiting to hear back from me, you should have a response. If you do not, hit me up again, please.
With the office duties cleaned up a bit, I began working on some box crowns for a number of forks to be built. I began by cutting up the rough stock in the cold saw then got it set up in the mill for a little angled mitering for the legs...